I'm an accountant by day and crafter at night. I love a decorating challenge, floral arrangements are probably my favorite part when decorating a wedding/party. I'm an independent Longaberger consultant and avid collector (check out my Longaberger website).

My favorite hobby is scrapbooking! Of course scrapping got me into photography, digital photography to be exact. I quickly discovered that I LOVE taking pictures! I just got the Nikon D300....words don't measure up to this camera - well worth the $$. I crochet while I watch tv and mess around on the computer whenever I get a few moments.
If you need to contact me

Sunday, November 29, 2009

At least Seven AM!

I was really hoping to sleep until at least 7am this morning. But of course on the last day of my '4-day holiday' I'm awake at 5:45 as normal (I technically worked on Friday since the early bird shopping was for door prizes for my work Christmas party and since I had to rise from bed at 2:45 to do that shopping - it's definitely considered 'work').
I convinced myself to lay still in bed thinking maybe I'd fall back asleep - NOPE. My mind started to run through everything I'd like to accomplish today so I gave in and got up. Here it is almost seven now and I'm on my second cup of coffee, I have Photoshop open with pictures up and ready to be edited, and I'm almost done with my farming chores!

I had photo sessions yesterday and didn't get to attend the first round Saluki playoff game, but Dad and Johnathon went. Of course since the Dawgs won and will be playing at home again next weekend Johnathon is pretty sure he needs to go to that game also - we'll see! Dad's having carpel tunnel surgery on his hand on Thursday, but he's pretty sure he'll be okay to go to the game also.
Nothing much new to report, I've had 7 photo sessions this week. Feast or Famine - although I can't say that I've had a week since oh say March that I haven't had at least 3-4 things to do for either photography or decorating (which isn't a bad thing)!
Many people have decided to do pictures for Christmas this year and with Christmas quickly approaching, it's not like I'm on a deadline to get edits done or anything. I have two sessions this afternoon which are both primarily inside sessions - I don't have the room to keep a backdrop set up and practice with the lighting so inside shoots make me nervous. The bad thing with Christmas sessions is that most people want them to be gifts/surprises for family members so it'll be after the holidays before I can even post them on my website. I'd hate to be the one to spoil the surprise for someone!

I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving and survived the madness of Black Friday (Arielle and I did!). I have most of my Christmas purchased now, actually purchased most of it online before the official holiday shopping season even started. Well I need another cup of coffee and those edits aren't going to happen without me.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Edits Edits and more Edits!

Amy & Heather - Hawaiian Luau 2006

I've been sitting at the computer literally all day long working on spreadsheets for work that I have to have done by 9am Monday morning and editing pictures. I've tried to go back and forth between the two as to not fry my brain on either at any one given point. In case you missed it I did say ALL day, yes my rear is officially flat!

I have determined that I take way too many pictures at one setting. For instance at the basketball game Thursday night I put in an empty 4gb flash card and when I walked out of the gym I had a whooping 18 pictures left on the card - that means I took well over 300 pictures at the game! Now multiply that by 25-30 games......I'll let you do the math, I've shut down my spreadsheets for the night. I just know it's too many pictures to keep up with edits on a timely basis. Now if I didn't have to work, those edits would be a breeze.

On a good note my cousin called and I heard my phone ringing and was able to answer and talk which ended our two week long phone tag! HOORAY! I had a great chat with her tonight, well talking on the phone for over an hour isn't really just a chat but you get the point. I soooooo wish she lived closer to me. She actually understands my frustrations, sarcasm and warped sense of humor. We have similar likes and dislikes which makes our complaints and gossip that much more fun. If I didn't know better I'd think we're related :) I haven't got to see her recently, hopefully she'll get to come for a visit soon. If not I may have to make a trip to VA, hey when is your next wedding shoot - that would just be too much fun!!

Well since it's after midnight I guess I'd better give the computer a rest and get some sleep. I need to continue working on the edits from a wedding & start the edits from a family session tomorrow along with finishing up the spreadsheets for work, edit the basketball pics and I'm taking pics of a Sesser senior in the early afternoon. Piece of Cake!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Here Kitty Kitty

Quick side note: the cat pictured below is not the cat with the misfortune of getting stepped on. It is, or rather was one of our cats though and was a pesky little thing that had a habbit of climbing up the railing on the back deck. I snapped the pic as it was meowing and stretching towards me as though I would pet it - ha - to it's distain I'm not a cat person and rarely touch to furry little critters!

Johnathon's basketball game last night was on the south side of Carbondale so I met dad down there after work. As we drove up he rolled down his window to tell me he had to go to Herrin hospital because my mother stepped on a cat as she was leaving and fell down the steps landing on concrete. She luckily had her cell phone and called Frankie who was close by and then called 911. They took her to Herrin hospital and thankfully it's just a sprain - not broken!

After the game I explained to Johnathon what had happened....
question #1) sooo Pappa Deaner missed the game?
(me) yes he had to go to the ER for Grand MaLou
(Spiff) man I scored 10 points tonight and he missed it

question #2) well what about the cat?
(me) do what!?!
(Spiff) well if Grand MaLou stepped on the cat is it dead?
(me) doubt it but I'll be sure to call and find out how the CAT is doing.....

I didn't call last night but have been told that the cat ran up the tree after being in the wrong place at the wrong time and we believe he's still hiding up there. As far as we know the cat will live as will Grand MaLou.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


So very thankful to all the veterans who have served this great country.
Here are just few that are related to me....above is my father who was a mechanic on a C130 in the Air Force

Those in uniform from left to right - Uncle Butch, cousin Wayne, Uncle Doug, Uncle JohnD, Aunt Kathy. Picture was taken at a Shurtz family reunion sometime in the mid80's.
My grandmother (Mary Shurtz) is in the middle along with two of my great grandmothers, Great Grandma Shurtz on the left and NaNa Foley on the right surrounded by my mother's siblings and her nephew who were all active duty at the time of this picture.

Siblings - Jason Shurtz is still active with the Navy and just returned from deployment, Heather Shurtz is now a civilian employed by the Navy (served 8 years active duty as a photographer for the Navy) and the eldest is Wayne Shurtz who just retired after serving 20 years in the medical field for the Navy.
My grandfather, Wayne Shurtz who was a pharmacist mate in the Navy.

Uncle Don Galloway who served during the Korean War in the US Army.

Grandfather, Wayne Shurtz on the left along with my uncle Wayne "Butch" Shurtz on the right.

Uncle John D who retired from the US Navy a few years ago. I believe this pic is from his retirement ceremony.

My cousin Brian who is still serving.

I have many more relatives who have or are still serving but I don't have pictures of them....just to name a few

Great Uncle Frank Shurtz, Navy
Great Uncle Jim Painter, Army
Great Uncle Ralph Galloway, Army
Uncle Shane Wheatley, Army
Cousin Nathan Shurtz, Marines
Cousin Steven Shurtz, Navy (active duty)
Cousin Tim Childress, Air Force
Cousin Kyle Painter, Army
Cousin Edgar Gillock, Army

I decorated the VFW in DuQuoin this morning, they're having a special ceremony for all WWII vets and are serving a meal throughout the day (which smelled wonderful!). My mother is an auxillary member and 'volunteered' me to decorate - based on everyone's reaction I have a feeling I'm decorating next year too. Here are a few pics of the decorations, they don't usually decorate the hall so I kept the decor somewhat simple.
I made the white sleeves around the flowers and glued the emblem from the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marines onto the four sides. Ran red crepe paper down the middle of the tables that were covered in white film and cut stars from blue cardstock - stars and stripes. Purchased flag sets that include the American flag in the middle surrounded by the 5 branches of service flags inserted into a black pedestal. The flowers consisted of baby's breath that I sprayed blue, white & red carnations, mini red rose sprays, red tulips, red gerbera daisies, and white spider mums. American flags were added to the flower arrangements.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Go #25......season opener!

Johnathon forced a turnover by stealing the ball, wish the breakaway was 'in focus'....
..........his lay-up attempt.
The other kid body checked him causing a personal he got to shoot 3 free-throws. He missed the first one and made the next two.

First 2 POINTS of the seaon!

Not sure why he looks like he's in pain here.

He and Luke are both trying to get the ball from the JC player.

Missed the best part of this shot (had my big lens on and was sitting WAY too close to the action), anyway he made this basket.....2 POINTS!

Sticking your tongue out at him??? Really!
I'm pretty sure he's looking for his bottle of water....pretty sure! (yah he's the one who's backside is all that you can see)
Game over - Sesser-Valier Devils 7th grade team wins!! WoooHoooo
Keeping stats during the varsity, 8th grade game.
Several of these were out of focus (ugggh), I didn't have the shutter speed set fast enough. I'll pay more attention for the game Monday night. This was the first game of the season and I was just a little off kilter but will be back into the swing of things by Monday!